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Ministers responsible for research adopt measures for a globally strong and resilient Europe

Met dank overgenomen van Sloveens voorzitterschap Europese Unie 2e helft 2021, gepubliceerd op dinsdag 28 september 2021.

At the Council of Ministers Responsible for Competitiveness (Research), the ministers adopted conclusions on a global approach to research and innovation, which is an important step in implementing measures for a globally strong and resilient European Union.

In the debate on the governance and implementation of the European Research Area, they called for the establishment of a modern, efficient and simplified governance structure and the strengthening of cross-sectoral cooperation and the involvement of relevant stakeholders.

Our goal is to create an efficient and inclusive European research area bringing faster social progress and greater resilience and competitiveness of Europe.

Simona Kustec, Minister of Education, Science and Sport

The decisions adopted by the ministers make it clear that the European Union must promote balanced openness and strive for a level playing field when cooperating with third countries in research and innovation. With the adopted decisions, the member states are encouraging the European Commission to conclude agreements on the accession of third countries to the Horizon Europe programme. “We have defined the key values and principles and activities with which we want to strengthen the strategic autonomy of the European Union and at the same time maintain an open economy,” said Minister Kustec after the meeting. She particularly emphasised the promotion of gender equality and the respect for freedom of scientific research.

At the meeting, Minister Kustec also presented the Ljubljana Declaration, which is the Slovenian Presidency’s contribution to improving the situation and ensuring the equal and balanced consideration of male and female researchers in the European Research Area. Many ministers at the meeting supported the declaration, which will be published by the end of November. The Slovenian Presidency invited third countries to do the same.

In the public debate on the new European Research Area (ERA), the ministers called for the establishment of a modern, efficient and simplified governance structure and the strengthening of cross-sectoral cooperation.

In order to make the ERA more effective, it will be necessary to strengthen political dialogue, establish continuous cooperation with actors from the private sector and systematically involve important stakeholders in the field of the economy and higher education and civil society in general.

The ministers also emphasised the need for more effective cross-sectoral cooperation, which would contribute to the sustainability and resilience of our societies and to a faster digital and green transition. Highlights from the discussion will be included in the preparation of the Conclusions on the Governance of the New European Research Area (ERA) and the new Pact for Research and Innovation, which will be discussed at the November session.

At the session, the Slovenian Presidency also presented the situation regarding all ten European partnerships, which will contribute significantly to the realisation of the green transition and digital transformation and to solving other major societal challenges with a contribution of more than 10 billion euro from the EU, member states and industries. “I am happy that the negotiations are proceeding in accordance with our time schedule and I remain convinced that all partnerships will be able to start operating during the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU," said Minister Kustec.

After the Council meeting, the ministers had a lunch discussion on the contribution of research and innovation to the new European Bauhaus initiative and its synergies with Horizon Europe missions. “These are two important initiatives contributing to the acceleration of the green and digital transition. Therefore, we will pay more attention to this in the future, especially in the field of research and higher education,” said Minister Kustec.

More information:

Competitiveness Council (Research), 28 September 2021

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